Advertisers will have to Super-spend elsewhere
BY RICK TELANDER firstname.lastname@example.org | @ricktelander December 7, 2013 12:54AM
There’s no more ad time available during the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, but maybe Britney Spears is taking bookings. | Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Updated: January 9, 2014 6:25AM
If you were planning to buy a Super Bowl TV ad, I’m sorry, it’s too late. They’re all gone.
Let’s say you just founded Hoo-Ha!.com (I looked it up; it’s available), and you wanted to blow $4 million on a 30-second spot during the Feb. 2 game on CBS. You can’t.
You’ll have to hire Lil Wayne and Britney Spears for your Valentine’s Day Party instead.
Again, I apologize.
◆ ’Tis the season to give, which means someone must take. Thus, God created college football coaches.
Salaries and revenue from summer camps, radio shows and private jet rebates are so yesterday. ‘‘Performance’’ bonuses are where it’s at.
I put that word in quotations because the wannabe Frank Leahys and Woodie Hayeses of the modern era don’t really have to perform at all. Their players do. And, as you know — and I’ll remind you — those players are too young, virginal, naïve, callow, unsoiled, disorganized and stupid to ever be paid money for their work.
Yet making more than $2 million a year in salary is nothing for college football coaches these days; 42 of them get that much, with 17 making more than $3 million and eight making more than $4 million a year.
But those bonuses . . . nice!
We only need one example: dude by the name of Todd Graham, out there at Arizona State. Graham had a $2.05 million contract, which was revised and extended by the university’s board last September. According to a study published by USA Today, Graham now can get nearly $3.2 million in bonuses this contract year.
The bonuses include things like achieving 10 wins, 11 wins, 12 wins, playing in the PAC-12 title game, playing in a non-BCS bowl game, winning that non-BCS bowl game, playing in a BCS bowl game, winning it, finishing in the top 25, or top 10, or top 5, plus keeping all players off death row. I made up the last one. (I think I did.)
Anyway, our buddy Graham already has made $800,000 extra this season.
Did I mention that besides a whole bunch of other stuff, Alabama’s Nick Saban — $5.4 million a year — gets a $310,000 bonus if his young ’uns win the BCS title game?
If I don’t tell you this stuff, who’s going to?
◆ Coda: ‘‘I’m a firm believer that an employee should get paid for his work. And 100 percent, I see student-athletes as employees. Hiding from it is just cowardly.’’ — former Tennessee and current Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, the franchise’s career rushing yardage and TD leader.
◆ The Bears play the Cowboys on Monday night at Soldier Field. The weather should be cold, maybe nasty, which should benefit the Bears. The Cowboys, after all, are a bunch of pansies who play indoors in the biggest casino in the world, while the Bears are monsters of the Midwest, the Midway and everything Mid-miserable.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo grew up in cold weather in Burlington, Wis., and once rode his fixed-gear, banana-seat bicycle 15 miles through a blizzard to get to a high school basketball game in East Troy. He did. He wanted it that bad.
His father, Ramiro Romo, swears this is true. Indeed, he told Sports Illustrated’s Scott Price recently that seeing his son coming up the highway in the swirling sleet and snow, a veritable Hans Christian Andersen fable peddling into a 1995 Dickensian novel of child-labor horror, made Dad weep because, as Price puts it, Ramiro had ‘‘never seen such want.’’
‘‘I started crying,’’ Ramiro said. ‘‘I couldn’t hold it in.’’
So be wary, Bears. Forget that Romo dated Jessica Simpson, Carrie Underwood or former Miss Missouri Candice Crawford. OK, so he married that last one. And they have a baby son, Hawkins. And he isn’t jetting off to Mexico for tanning during bye weeks anymore.
He’s a bad motor scooter, for sure. And he’ll chop you down like Paul Bunyan with ice in his beard.
◆ When I wrote recently that Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch would be my Heisman Trophy ballot choice, I did it with three caveats.
First, that I wouldn’t vote for Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston because he was under a sexual assault legal shadow. He no longer is.
Two, that Lynch wouldn’t tank in the Mid-American Conference title game against Bowling Green on Friday night. Which he did.
Third, that NIU would go undefeated, since winning was Lynch’s greatest quality. The Huskies got smoked 47-27 and are now 12-1.
Sorry, Jordan, you’re on my ballot still. Just down a ways.